Tortillas, Tacos, Tostadas and more!
This project was realized in collaboration with Wendy Cano Domínguez, Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU) on March 15th, 2012 at the Fotoscheune Gallery, Stiftung Künstlerdorf Schöppingen , NRW, Germany.
The art project Vitamina T aims to generate happiness by bringing maize-based food, this time into the community of Schöppingen in a catering event at the Stiftung Künstlerdorf Schöppingen. The project takes its name from the local “joke” that Mexicans do about maize-based products, such as tortillas, tostadas, and tacos. The catering event distilled some emblematic recipes out of the full range of more than seven hundred maize-based recipes using what one can find in Schöppingen’s grocery stores. In this event, special corn-coins were used to “purchase” maize-based food; participants exchanged gratifying anecdotes for these corn-coins, and the latter was traded to “buy” food. Along with the catering event, the publication of a recipe book presented some of the dishes from Vitamina T in Spanish, English, and German languages. The art project Vitamina T is a play of words that tries to bring an element that assures prosperity for the body and soul. Vitamina T is a special vitamin that cannot be found in pharmacies.
At the beginning of the project, I invited people to the event by drawing the project’s logo on the sidewalks.
Together with art professor Barbara Beckmann, I gave a class to teenagers about the importance of maize in Mexican culture. The workshop was held at the Verbundschule Horstmar –Schöppingen prior to the catering event.
The class also consisted in a special activity in the school’s kitchen: students made hand-made sopecitos, huarachitos and tostaditas. With this activity they learnt about the difference between transgenic and nixtamalizada maize flour.
During the catering event, people ate many forms of the Vitamina T.
In order to participate and eat during the catering event, people were asked to write happy anecdotes on special bills. These bills were made with paper that in Mexico is used to wrap tortillas. The bills were exchanged to get corn-coins; the coins were in fact made with transgenic maize. People used the corn-coins to “purchase” nixtamalized maize food.
With this action, participants touched on controversial issues such as the close link between money and transgenic experimentation, the lack of knowledge of the nixtamalización process for the majority of people in Europe, and the importance of maize for Mesoamerican culture –the produce by which an entire civilization survived throughout time.
Along with the catering, people were able to “purchase” the book containing several recipes to cook Vitamina T food with local produce. The price of the recipe book was two anecdotes (six corn-coins).
“Vitamina T recipe book” was made in collaboration with Wendy Cano Domínguez, Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU) and thanks to the support of the Stiftung Künstlerdorf Schöppingen , NRW, Germany.
To download the “Vitamina T recipe book” click here: Vitamina T, Rezeptbuch
To read the review from the newspaper, click on the image below:
Vitamina T was a project realized during the artistic residency at the Stiftung Künstlerdorf Schöppingen and in collaboration with Wendy Cano Domínguez —Universidad del País Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU) during the months of February and March, 2012.
Special thanks to:
Monika Koncz, translator Spanish/German
Mick Lorusso, copyeditor English
Joseph Spiegel, Sigrun Brunsiek, Heinz Kock and Manuela Lindenbaum
Los Soneritos de Colima, Mexico
China-Thai Restaurant THIEN-LONG, Schöppingen, NRW, Germany